It started this morning as the messages from well-meaning friends rolled in telling me "Happy birthday. I hope it's the best!" and "Happy birthday, I hope you're doing great!" and the worst "Happy birthday, I hope all of your wishes come true!" I thought to myself that clearly it's not going to be "the best." It's very obvious that I'm not "doing great!" And how could all of my wishes come true when no wish can bring Blake back? Did people somehow think that just because it's my birthday that my life would magically get better? If anything, today being my birthday put more pressure on me to feel happy when I. Just. Don't.
I started getting mad at everyone. How dare they wish me happy birthday like it could actually be a happy birthday. I'm not sure what I'd rather them write to me though. Maybe I didn't want them to write anything at all. I just wanted this day to disappear. I just wanted to disappear.
After I allowed myself to fume for a while, I started seeing things from a different perspective. Of all the million other things these people had to do today, they decided to take the time to write or call me. When they didn't have to, they made the effort to let me know I was on their mind. I realized it didn't matter what they said, it was the act itself that was special. So from that moment on, I made the decision to respond to each and every message with gratitude and appreciation.
I let this consume me for the entirety of today. I became very obsessed with making sure that everyone knew how much it meant to me to get their message and how grateful I was to have them in my life. I spent so much time doing this that I forgot that the day was supposed to be about enjoying myself. But I didn't want to enjoy myself. I used gluing myself to the computer as a way to avoid all of that.
My dad happened to be in town for business, so he took me out to dinner for my first and only meal of the day. I shoveled burrito into my mouth as I cried to him about how much I hated this day and wanted it to end. I had a class at seven I was supposed to go to, but decided I couldn't let my classmates see me like this. They would want a happy, smiley birthday girl... the kind of birthday girl that I just wasn't able to be for them today.
I missed the cake that they bought to surprise me with. It was pink and perfect and most importantly, purchased with so much thought and love. They sent me a picture of the cake, a video of them singing happy birthday to me, and reassuring messages that they understood why I wasn't there. I cried more. Why couldn't I just be normal and let myself have a happy birthday?
I don't think there has ever been a lonelier 24 hours in my whole life. The worst part is they didn't have to be that way, I made them that way. It's nobody's fault but mine that I chose to be distastefully detached from my own birthday. I have never been more relieved for a day to be over. Thank God for October 11th.